Canadians don't want the federal government involved in fact checking: report

The study, conducted by Ekos Research, found survey participants 'expressed reservations' over the federal government acting as an 'authority' on misinformation and disinformation.

Canadians don't want the federal government involved in fact checking: report
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Canadians are not keen on the idea of giving the federal government power to declare fact from fiction, according to research conducted by the Communications Security Establishment.

While participants said they regularly see disinformation online — something that they feel has escalated over the past few years — “Most participants said they feel confident they can tell the difference between real and false information you see on the internet, at least most of the time,” said the Study On Online Disinformation Advertising Creative Testing, as reported by Blacklock's Reporter.

The study, conducted by Ekos Research, found a “number of participants expressed reservations about the government presenting itself as an ‘authority’ on disinformation.”

The Privy Council found similar sentiments among Canadians in 2023 research, in which those asked felt they did not trust the Trudeau Liberals' cabinet to regulate legal content, with the outlet noting participants in that poll “stressed the role of individual responsibility.”

That study also found Canadians were concerned about the federal government's ability to stifle “what they viewed as the rights of individuals to freely express themselves online.”

Under the backdrop of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's government enacting more and more censorship legislation, the participants in the recent Study On Online Disinformation “perceived the Government of Canada would be declaring what is true or not.”

“We have lived in the splendid, naive sort of superiority that this was not our problem in Canada, that this was a south of the border problem, that it existed in other countries, but not in Canada — and that’s simply not true,” said former Trudeau national security adviser Jody Thomas following the outbreak of the Russia-Ukraine war in 2022.

The Liberals have recently tabled Bill C-63, the proposed 'online harms' act.

Canada joins “allies like the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Australia who have also legislated in this area. We will learn from their experiences. We cannot tolerate anarchy on the internet,” Justice Minister Arif Virani said as the bill was unveiled, as reported by the Toronto Star.

“We need to do a better job as a society of protecting our kids online the way we protect them in schoolyards, in our communities, in our homes across the country,” Trudeau said on Feb 21 defending Bill C-63.

“We need to make sure we're protecting freedom of expression; we need to make sure we're protecting the freedoms and the rights of Canadians while we protect kids.”

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